If you’re like me, you’ve looked high and low for the loss secret that will help you melt the pounds away for good. Does that hidden dieting trick exist? Could a high protein, low fat diet give me the edge I need to stay slim for life?
As I considered the high protein, low fat dieting approach I was surprised to learn how popular it is. Many brand name companies even produce packed meals and snacks tailored to the high protein, low fat dieter’s needs.
Of course, ease and availability are only a small piece of the bigger picture. What I wanted to know is, does it really work? Could adding more lean proteins like lean beef and fish and limiting processed, high fat foods give me the results I wanted?
Which Type Diet Works the Best?
Surprisingly, studies comparing the results of a high protein, low fat diet and a high carbohydrate, low fat diet have shown both yield similar loss, but the protein-focused diet reduces more actual fat mass. This is great news because, when it really comes down to it, I want to lose fat, not just “”.
I was also pleased with the reported health benefits of a high protein, low fat diet. Some of the health benefits I discovered that are associated with this diet include reduction in glucose and insulin levels, and a reduction in cholesterol. I also found that Folate and vitamin B-6 levels were increased by the diet.
High protein diets have often been criticized for potentially causing damage to the kidneys. I was happy to learn that many studies have refuted this claim. The official recommendation is no more than 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body .
Examples of High Protein Foods
Low-fat sources of protein-rich food are easy to locate and, fortunately, pretty tasty too. Beans, eggs, lean meats, and even tofu are excellent sources of protein. Some high protein, low fat dieters add protein supplements to their diet as well.
Even after reading studies that demonstrated that a low fat, protein-focused diet really does work, I was still curious about how and why more protein and less fat produced such great results. As I learned, the magic is in the complex way in which our bodies handle protein.
The first way protein helps with loss is by creating a more “full” and satisfied feeling. The real trick, however, comes in digestion. Proteins contain the chemical nitrogen, which the body likes to retain because of its usefulness in producing antibodies.
Because of this, the body would rather turn protein into carbs (for later fuel) instead of fat. It’s the complex process the body uses to digest and store protein that uses up extra energy, also known as burning calories.
Protein is also essential for rebuilding muscle mass, and those new muscles are calorie burning machines too. It seems higher protein and lower fat is exactly what the body wants for high performance.